In an effort to promote youth engagement and to enhance the young minds’ awareness, knowledge and skills in environmental protection as they are believed to be the backbone of the nation, the Mining and Degraded Areas Rehabilitation Research Center (MDARRC) facilitated a 2-day training on bamboo and forest trees clonal propagation on September 28-29, 2017 at MDARRC Research Station 1 in Amas, Kidapawan City, Cotabato.

Thirty participants from the Kidapawan City Emergency Response Unit (KIDCERU) of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) attended the 2-day event which aimed at providing basic techniques in bamboo and forest trees clonal propagation. The training is part of the Center’s commitment to provide technical assistance to its stakeholders to develop among them a strong sense of commitment to protect the environment.

In his message, CDRRMO Chief Psalmer Bernalte said that the training is very relevant as it enables the participants to be involved in the production of quality planting materials which will be planted along creek lines, riverbanks and other areas that are prone to erosion and landslide. “We consider our youth as a major resource, playing a vital role in environmental protection and management if given the chance. They are the instruments for sustainable change,” he added.

The 2-day training includes series of lectures on bamboo and macro-somatic clonal propagations, from preparation of potting media and planting materials to the propagation proper. A hands-on demonstration followed the lecture where participants got the chance to perform the actual process of bamboo and clonal propagation.

The participants also toured around the clonal nursery and planted their own trees at the 100-hectare experimental forest of MDARRC. The activity gave emphasis to the importance of reforestation and encouraged the participants to plant more trees.

In her closing message, Supervising SRS Vilma Flauta-Nitura, MDARRC Region XII Research Station Head, noted that the youth are the foundation of enthusiasm and drive for any efforts to address environmental degradation. “Our young people are key points of influence for the community. Thus, if given the chance to make them understand the risks of environmental degradation and how they can play an active role in environmental management and protection, they can become an integral part of the solution,” she added.

The CDRRMO-Kidapawan City reiterated that deforestation leads to rapid rain runoff which contributes to flooding and landslide. Thus, MDARRC and CDRRMO-Kidapawan City continue its partnership in an effort to make Kidapawan City disaster-resilient through providing technical assistance to clientele on the technologies related to degraded areas rehabilitation. Jethrone M. Setenta, MDARRC